Physical security, election coverage, fight against disinformation: nearly 2,000 journalists trained by RSF in 37 countries in 2023
This year, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has trained almost 2,000 journalists in 37 countries around the world. Using its network of local organisations, RSF has responded to the growing need of information professionals with regard to safety, election coverage and fight against disinformation.
In 2023, nearly 2,000 journalists were trained by RSF worldwide, ten times more than in 2020. RSF is thus responding to an increase in demand from journalists to be better equipped to deal with disinformation and geopolitical crises.
Journalists trained in nearly 40 countries
RSF has provided training in a total of 37 countries in 2023 with the help of its local partners, mainly in three areas : of the journalists trained, 40 % were in sub-Saharan Africa, 19 % in East Asia and 12 % in Ukraine.
Safety, elections and media transparency
Nearly half of the training sessions provided by RSF in 2023 were centred on journalists’ safety, particularly in war zones.
Journalists in countries with major crises have indeed been given training designed to help them continue working. In Ukraine, RSF is developing physical security training modules with local media and regional branches of national media, in the regions most affected by the war. With local partners, RSF has also launched a “Media Residency Programme” – a retreat and psychological safety programme for journalists impacted by the conflict – and is helping to create a support network.
In sub-Saharan Africa, where 40 % of journalists trained by RSF in 2023 live, most of the workshops focussed on election coverage, particularly in Madagascar, Senegal and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). RSF has indeed stepped up its training in election coverage and first aid in the region, in response to an increase in crises during elections, which are crucial periods. In the DRC, the RSF bureau in Dakar launched a specific programme with its local partners. These thematic training courses are part of RSF’s ongoing efforts to promote balanced and independent coverage of elections.
In East Asia, where 19 % of the journalists trained by RSF in 2023 are settled, in a regional context marked by increased restrictions on the right to information, RSF has focussed its training efforts on physical security needs and support for journalists who have had to flee abroad. Most of the journalists from East Asia who received training in 2023 came from Hong Kong, China and Myanmar.
To respond to disinformation’s challenges, RSF has also considerably developed training aimed at strengthening media independence and transparency worldwide. In particular, this involves creating and promoting workshops around the “Journalism Trust Initiative,” which promotes reliability of information and good journalistic practice, by certifying media outlets according to ethical standards.